Steve Miller is a former Las Vegas City Councilman. In 1991, the readers
of the Las Vegas Review Journal voted him the "Most Effective Public
Official" in Southern Nevada. Visit his
website at: http://www.SteveMiller4LasVegas.com
Like a bad nickel, it
keeps coming back
INSIDE VEGAS by Steve Miller
October 16, 2006
"I don't feel confident going forward
at this time." "We need to go
forward with a microscope." - Mayor Pro Tem Gary
"We want a divorce from those who
pleaded guilty and the operation
and management of this business." - City
Attorney Brad Jerbic
that a man of Mike's background and credibility
would be denied." - Steve Caruso, attorney for
met Mr. Rizzolo for the first time two weeks ago."
Mike Signorelli and City
Business License Director Jim DiFiori on Oct. 4
tried to convince the City Council to grant a new temporary liquor
(AmericanMafia.com photo by Mike Christ)
LAS VEGAS - I've been writing about
Las Vegas scandals since 1960. Never before
has one kept coming back with such regularity as the ongoing Crazy
Horse Too debacle that should have ended six weeks ago when the blood
soaked topless bar was permanently shut down.
This bad nickel could not keep reappearing without help from the top
floor of City Hall.
When the City Council on
Oct. 4 postponed the issuance of a new temporary liquor license for the
shuttered bar, attorney Steve Caruso
representing applicant Michael Signorelli was very disappointed.
Signorelli's stature as a businessman and former holder of a
nonrestricted gaming license for a casino in Mesquite, and told the
Council that his client had just met convicted felon and Crazy Horse
owner Rick Rizzolo two weeks earlier. He also stated that his
was bidding on the Riviera Hotel, and was a highly respected gaming
entrepreneur and real estate developer.
The Council, in the absence of
Mayor Oscar Goodman who conveniently was in Europe, was not
"I'm not disappointed," Signorelli
said condescendingly after the council's
unanimous vote to postpone his request. "I don't think they had any
choice but to do what they
did. The documents weren't done."
As I sat in the back of the
Chambers watching, I couldn't help but remember Amy Henry, the wife of
the man whose neck was broken by a Crazy Horse manager, telling KVBC TV
News, "I can't understand what kind of city
or state would allow a place like this to remain in business?"
It was the same Amy Henry on Sept. 6, the day the Council
permanently revoked the Crazy Horse Too's liquor license and stopped
decades of violence, who contradicted
statement and asked the Council to let the bar stay open so her family
and their Las Vegas attorneys can get paid, but her request would inadvertently expose more
Henry's to getting their necks broken for refusing to pay inflated
tabs, and I'm sure that's not her intention.
Part of Rick Rizzolo's plea agreement stipulated that he would sell the
Crazy Horse, and from the proceeds pay Henry $10 million, and the IRS
approx. $7 million. U.S. Federal Court Chief Judge Philip Pro, however,
made no mention of immediately attaching Rick and Lisa Rizzolo's
which are estimated to be worth over $20 million in the event the Crazy
Horse was permanently shut down by the City, and consequently lost its
Well, that's exactly what happened, and its now up to Judge Pro to
reverse the Rizzolo's very convenient divorce settlement from 2005
wherein Rick gave his ex-wife most of his wealth including $7.2 million
in cash, and $85,000 per month in alimony -- money Rizzolo should give
Henry's and IRS to satisfy his moral and legal obligations. But Rick
and Lisa Rizzolo have never offered Kirk Henry one cent from their
personal fortune, and no one expects them to make any effort to honor
their obligation without the Federal Judge's intervention.
Rick Rizzolo has a million dollar line of credit in several Strip
casinos and is known as a Whale, but for Kirk Henry who was a victim of
Crazy Horse greed and sadism, Rizzolo is not expected to be charitable,
and if the Feds want the City to reopen the place so money can be
generated, it's only going to add insult to injury.
As far as Signorelli goes, he may not get very far
after it was revealed he's had
two bankruptcies in fifteen years, and is a business partner of an
ex-felon accused of having Mob ties.
Observer explained it best:
has commented that he is willing to pay as much as $400,000 per month
rent, and buy the business, which currently doesn't exist, for as much
as $45 million. There are numerous questions
being asked about Signorelli's finances. He
has been in bankruptcy twice and allegedly has underworld connections,
as does the current owner of the Crazy Horse Too, Rick Rizzolo. The amounts of money being discussed has
raised eyebrows of more than one investigator, but not the City
Attorney or District Attorney. Is there enough bare skin available to allow a lessee to
make $400,000 per month rent payments? Not according to tax
records, so that money must come from somewhere. Answers to where
the money might come from to make huge rent payments include such as
skimmed profits, or in-house prostitution that isn't reported, or maybe
drug distribution networks? Four hundred thousand dollars per
month is an extraordinary amount of money and most in the commercial
real estate business are scoffing at the idea."
The Observer continued:
much money being developed by convicted criminals, previous trials
dealing with corrupt politicians and other representatives of equally
sleazy operations, and virtually no effort on the part of local law
enforcement, in particular city and county attorneys to conduct grand
jury investigations all point to a conspiracy to defraud. The
only investigations that have taken place have been at the federal
level. The only charges and convictions that have happened have
come at the federal level. A perception of corruption has tainted
the governments of the City of Las Vegas
and the County
It's common knowledge that Clark
County District Attorney Dave Roger accepted, then said he returned $40,000
in campaign contributions from Rizzolo during better times. This
is the same DA who refused
to prosecute after Kirk Henry's neck was broken.
In the meantime, over 737 calls in three years for service to the LV
Metro Police did not result in arrests of bar employees. In fact, many
the arrests of the complaining parties instead.
And there's always the pesky notion that Metro ignores calls to 911
reporting drunken or drugged drivers launching out of the Crazy
Horse parking lot into the nearby low income neighborhood that's full
of small children. When complaints were made, dispatchers reportedly
told callers to call Crazy Horse "security" to make their complaints,
and hung up.
And there's Jim DiFiori, the man at City Hall who is
responsible for scheduling Show Cause (license revocation) hearings.
DiFiori has ignored hundreds of requests to bring the Crazy Horse
before the Council to show cause why they deserved to hold a privileged
In the meantime, the beatings continued.
Now the Crazy Horse sits dark -- its parking lot empty while crime in
nearby Meadows Village, the low income neighborhood across Industrial
Road, has commensurately ceased and children play in the streets
without fear of being killed by a drunk or drugged driver from the
Why would anyone at City Hall, especially the Mayor, want to resume the
It was recently disclosed that Oscar Goodman and his partner Jay
Brown, prior to Goodman being elected
Mayor, served as the Resident Agents for Rizzolo's corporation, "The
Power Company, Inc."
He also was Rizzolo's criminal defense attorney when Rizzolo pleaded
guilty to beating a man with a baseball bat. The man died three years
later of his injuries, and Rizzolo didn't spend a day in jail.
Goodman also shamelessly reported receiving $40,000 from Rizzolo during
his last uncontested mayoral campaign.
In any other state -- one with strong ethics laws -- such a revelation
would certainly inspire abstention from an elected official, but not in
Sin City, Nevada, and not from Oscar Goodman!
Goodman persists in saying he is for the re-licensing of his former
client's bloody bar, and insists he has no conflict of interest in
helping to do so. I strongly disagree, and have filed an amended
complaint with the State Ethics Commission to prove my point. A two
member committee consisting of Commission members is set to review my
amended complaint that includes the Resident Agent, and $40,000
Meanwhile, Goodman has been heard touting the credibility of
Signorelli, saying he's a legitimate businessman, and would be a fit
operator of the Crazy Horse.
neglects to mention Signorelli's two bankruptcies including one in the
mid 1980's that involved several hundred thousand dollars, and another
involving his Mesquite casino after it was open for a little over a
During the Oct. 4 Council hearing, attorney Caruso bragged about his
client's success in the gaming industry, but failed to mention that Signorelli opened
the Mesquite Star Casino in June 1998, http://www.hotel-online.com/News/PressReleases1998_2nd/June98_MesquiteStar.html
During happier times, Signorelli's company, NevStar Gaming, sent
out the following Press Release:
"NevStar Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Michael Signorelli, said,
'These two awards reflect the quality of management and staff at Mesquite Star. We are proud of their
accomplishments and professionalism in building an enviable reputation
in a very competitive market.'"
YEAR LATER, HIS COMPANY WENT BANKRUPT - AGAIN!
"'There are 100-some
employees whose paychecks were looted to the tune of $450,000 to
$750,000 in claims,' argued Matt Callister, one of the lawyers
representing the workers. 'They will be out in the cold unless there's
a stay.' The former employees allege their health coverage was regularly
deducted from their paychecks but that the money was diverted -- no one
knows where. The misuse was only discovered when medical claims came back denied,
Callister said." - LV Review-Journal
Also, a number of
people have for many years observed Signorelli in the company of
Rizzolo at the Golden Steer Steak House; Signorelli's restaurant
located a few blocks from the Crazy Horse.
If Signorelli can't give a straight answer to the Council on how long
known Rizzolo, how can he be trusted when he says he'll purchase the
Horse property for $45 Million, or pay a ridiculous $400,000 per month
rent to buy?
A recent Securities and Exchange Commission filing shows
plans to sell the 27 acre former Las Vegas Strip site of Wet and Wild for $450 million or
acre, to build a $4 billion, 4,500-suite megaresort.
On Sept. 6, Signorelli told the Council
he'll pay Rizzolo $45 million, or $16.9
million per acre for
the 2.65 acre Crazy Horse Too real estate
and buildings -- $200,000 per acre more
than valuable Strip land goes for!
The CH2 real estate is under threat of eminent domain
seizure; is a half mile from the Strip; doesn't have a liquor license;
and is in a high crime
neighborhood adjacent to the railroad tracks and a noisy overpass.
But that doesn't deter "Doctor" Signorelli who after two
disastrous bankruptcies in 15 years, plans to build, not one, but two
forty story condo towers on Rizzolo's land! However, a recent
soil test says the land, because of vibrations caused by freight trains
and other factors, would not safely support even ten story buildings.
Then there's this tid bit about Signorell's corporation from the February
11, 2000 Las Vegas Review-Journal:
"Nevstar Gaming & Entertainment Corp.'s independent auditor,
McGladrey & Pullen LLC, resigned Dec. 22, a Wednesday filing with
the Securities and Exchange Commission shows. McGladrey's independent
auditors report for the year ended June 30, 1998, raised 'substantial doubt' about
Nevstar's ability to continue as a going concern...
Mesquite-based Nevstar, a development stage company, filed for Chapter
11 bankruptcy relief Dec. 1, citing assets and liabilities of $22
million and $23 million, respectively. At the time of the petition
filing, the company's appraised value was $34 million."
If the above isn't enough to
discourage the City Council on Wednesday, Oct. 18 when they are
scheduled to consider Signorelli's suitability for privileged
licensing, maybe these paragraphs from Rizzolo's lease will!
"Tenant shall operate the
Business... in substantially the
same manner as the Business was being
operated on the date it was closed..."
GOD FORBID! The place was described as a "public
nuisance" by City Attorney Brad Jerbic, and as a "threat
to the community" by the U.S. Dept. of Justice! Who would want it
to continue operating in the same
"... tenant shall hire and retain all management personnel of
Landlord in connection with the operation of the business, at the same
compensation paid by Landlord, and shall not terminate any such
employee except with consent of Landlord... Landlord shall have
unlimited access to the premises... and Mr. Rick Rizzolo shall retain
complete access to his office..."
What a stupid lease! If the Council falls for this, I
have a bridge in Brooklyn I'd like to sell them!
The Federal plea agreement
stipulated that Rizzolo cannot step one foot on the property after
he gets out of prison. This paragraph means the same goons who beat bar
patrons to a pulp, and the goon who owns the building can run
roughshod over the place while the stupid tenant pays Rizzolo
$400,000 per month for the privilege of having them hang around! What a
Or maybe this will make the Council think twice:
Section 4 of LVMC
19.04.040 (b): "If any such business
is terminated or is abandoned for a period of at least thirty days, any
use of the property shall conform to the provisions of Ordinance 3674."
Crazy Horse Too has been closed since September 6, 2006. The business
has been "terminated and abandoned" for over 30 days, therefore it
cannot reopen unless it complies with all sections of the current
building and planning codes.
After 30 days, the business must now conform to newer codes
19.04 PERMISSIBLE USES (3) Prohibited Where—Establishment. (a)..."In
addition, no person shall cause or permit the establishment of any
sexually oriented business within one thousand feet of any other
sexually oriented business, church, public or private school, day care,
teen dance center, park or playground."
The Crazy Horse Too is less than 1,000 feet from two sexually oriented
businesses, and a church.
Furthermore, the Crazy Horse Too in 1999 expanded without
building permits, and without a traffic study or increased parking.
Then there's: 6.06.160
APPLICATION AFTER ADVERSE ACTION: "Any person whose license or approval
for suitability has been denied, canceled or revoked may not apply for
a license or approval for suitability until one year following the
effective date of such action.(Ord. 2187 §
1 (part), 1981: prior code § 5-4-9(A))
If after being armed with these citations from their own laws, the
Council stills falls for this line of crap, it will be obvious
City Hall is about to
to a new location three miles south!
"With the City Seal proudly
displayed over its' entrance, the new City Hall 'South' awaits its'
Grand Re-Opening, while Ad Hoc Mayor Rick Rizzolo prepares to continue his reign over city
politics from a cell in Federal prison." - Steve Miller Insider
E-Brief, Oct. 11, 2006
Caruso also boasted his client
was bidding on the Riviera Hotel, but failed to mention that the Associated Press reported on
Sept. 6 that the Riviera Board of Directors found that Signorelli's
© Steve Miller
did not respond adequately to requests for more
information on investors and financing." "This ultimately led Riviera's
board to conclude that (Signorelli's corporation) had not demonstrated
its ability to complete the acquisition as proposed and, therefore, the
proposal did not warrant further consideration."
the face of this documented information, will the City
Council still think he's legitimate and let him re-open the Crazy
On Monday, Buffalo Jim Barrier arrived in
his office next to the Crazy Horse Too. He observed Rick Rizzolo's
brother Ralph affixing a hand made sign to a chain across the
entrance to a parking lot the Crazy Horse leases from NDOT
under the Sahara overpass. He
also observed Bart Rizzolo, Rick and Ralph's dad, signing for a beer
delivery -- this is after the place had been closed for five weeks.
As if the topless bar was still in
business and needed the parking spaces (and beer), the warning was
posted. Then last
Monday evening, Rick
Rizzolo sent e-mails to his former dancers, and to the producer of a
radio program that features items of interest to taxi drivers. The
message stated that the Crazy Horse will definitely re-open on
Wednesday Oct. 18. Later that evening, Rizzolo was heard telling
friends that his attorneys have arranged that he will not have to spent
any time in prison, and that Steve Miller and Buffalo Jim
Barrier were "nuts." He also said that Miller and Barrier had
nothing to do with the closure of his business.
Either he's dilusional, or the fix is in!
COUNCIL AGENDA October 18, 2006
CITY ATTORNEY - DISCUSSION
62. Hearing, discussion and possible action concerning petition for
rehearing in the matter of the Department of Finance and Business
Services on behalf of the City of Las Vegas, Nevada v. The Power
Company, Inc. d/b/a Crazy Horse Too - Ward 3 (Reese)
64. ABEYANCE ITEM - Discussion and
possible action regarding Temporary Approval of a new Tavern License, Nevada Receivership,
LLC, dba Crazy Horse Too, 2476 Industrial Road, Michael J. Signorelli,
Managing Mmbr, 100% - Ward 3 (Reese)
On Oct. 18, the Las Vegas City Council
with Mayor Goodman expected to preside, will consider the temporary
liquor license application of Mike Signorelli.
In the likely event the Council
looks at Signorelli's disaster-plagued financial background though
a microscope, and
wisely denies his application, Goodman has placed another item on the
agenda asking the Council to reconsider their Sept.. 6 permanent
revocation of the CH2 liquor license, and let the Rizzolo family resume
operations even though they pleaded guilty to racketeering through
their corporation The Power Company.
I'll let you know the outcome in next week's INSIDE VEGAS column, or if
you'd like to watch the bizarre proceedings live, go to: http://www.lasvegasnevada.gov/Find/Sept2005.asp#6166
at around 10 AM, Wednesday, PDT, and click on "Watch KCLV TV."
Or for the latest on what's happening in Sin City including up to the
minute reports on this amazing and painfully repetitive story,
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